12 January 2008

Pea soup!

By the way, this is something that's been nagging at me for quite some time. I've been to Asia several times...I have friends living there or having a residency program there...the honour's program is constantly sending people over there for Japan semester at Kobe College... The thing I've noticed is the ever-present "peace" sign in all the photographs. The picture of the little girl who ran up and hugged me at the Gyeongbokgung palace has her flashing the peace sign. Every single picture friends bring back from their trips abroad has the same theme. Now that I'm getting close to having enough money in my savings account for the Summer Tokyo session, I simple HAD to find out why. I know I'm gonna do it. I know that I will jump on the wagon. But why? Why will I be making this inane gesture at every flash of a camera? Here's what wiki says...

"During the 1972 Winter Olympics in Sapporo, figure skater Janet Lynn stumbled into Japanese pop culture when she fell during a free-skate period—but continued to smile even as she sat on the ice. Though she placed only 3rd in the actual competition, her cheerful diligence and indefatigability resonated with many Japanese viewers, making her an overnight celebrity in Japan. Afterwards, Lynn (a peace activist) was repeatedly seen flashing the V sign in the Japanese media. Though the V sign was known of in Japan prior to Lynn's use of it there (from the post-WWII Allied occupation of Japan), she is credited by some Japanese for having popularized its use in amateur photographs.[citation needed]

However, the precise origin of the overwhelming popularity of the sign as used in photographs was clarified and revealed in a series of Japanese variety programs from September-November 2007 the first of which was the popular Down Town DX. The man responsible for popularizing the V sign is a Jun Inoue (Junji Inoue at the time) a popular thespian known for roles in television dramas, films and commercials. In 1972 he appeared in a series of commercials for the Japanese camera maker Konica in which he 'photographed' in a number of 'candid' poses all with one thing in common, he was flashing the V sign. According to Inoue, the idea for the sign was an ad-lib based on his perception of its popularity overseas.
[citation needed]

Through the
1970s and 1980s in Japan, the V sign was often accompanied by a vocalization: "piisu!" This gairaigo exclamation, which stood for "peace", has since fallen into disuse, though the V sign itself remains steadfastly popular. It is especially popular in photography, as it is a favorite pose of both teens and adults - in Japan, China and elsewhere in Asia.

The V sign is also commonly used in
anime and Japanese live-action shows. When characters show this sign, it is often accompanied by an exclamation of "Vui!" (pronounced
/vɯi/ or /bɯi/), an approximation of the English pronunciation "vee" which differentiates it from "bii", the Japanese name of the letter B (as many Japanese speakers hear the voiced labiodental fricativevoiced bilabial plosive, see Engrish). A more common phrase is "kachi" which means victory (V for Victory) or luck. Several anime characters incorporate the V sign into their poses, including Ash Ketchum of Pokémon fame, both Sailor Moon and Sailor V, as well as video game characters such as Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Chun-Li, and Ling Xiaoyu from the Tekken series.

Due to Japanese cultural influences in the region
[citation needed], the V sign in photographs has become popular with young people throughout East Asia and Southeast Asia."

Now, due to the lack of citations, I dunno how historically accurate this is, but, according to the internet forum concensus, this is the most acceptable explanation. Well, now I know, and I thought I'd share. ^-~

1 comment:

Liquid Wolf said...

Hrm... Well as I recall somewhere long ago... on something I can't remember...

Some people credit Nixon for it, and it was mainly used towards Americans because it was recognizable ( or as mockery IMO)

Any who, V for Victory and Peace, since the sign is not considered threatening.